There is a very significant concept in Sanskrit; that of Paramparai. This term refers to the succession of knowledge from the Guru to the student. It is an exceptional initiation, which requires years of practice and devotion to the teacher, so that the student can come into contact, not with the superficial knowledge of each spiritual system, but with the existence of this system within the much vaster cosmic library. Then, only then, can the practices and theories have a wholistic result; only then can they sink deep within us and truly change us. Otherwise our changes will be temporary, as will our knowledge.
We live in an age where we pay a psychotherapist to help us find ourselves. And we pay a large sum so that we will not need to create a connection with our therapist. We live in an age where we pay a teacher to give us 5-6 spiritual practices, so that we can then be paid to teach them to others. And once again, we pay a high price for this knowledge so that there is no obligation and no connection once we have taken what we need. Devotion is misinterpreted as servility and gratitude for naivety. And everything has to happen quickly otherwise it is not real.
In this age of non-attachment and spiritual supermarkets, in the age of instant enlightenment and paid initiations, let us explore why things would never have worked this way in the past.
What our teacher, Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani writes about the spiritual chain (paramparai):
'' Recently, I have been reminded of the wonderful human realisation of Rubert Sheldrake called the ‘’morphogenetic field’’ (*a morphogenetic field is a field of thought or energy containing a certain frequency or resonance, created by living species.). I realised it is the same idea behind the paramparai as well as the akashic record. I thought about it and I realised it has explained the phenomenon of the growing fellowship occurring in the parampara after decades of work with so many of the members now in their 50’s, 60’s, 70’s who have lived a good yoga life following the innate drive to consciously evolve their spirits.
Here is a verbal meditation on the spiritual meaning of the paramparai:
The store house of memory is not the least bit private since morphogenetic fields are universally existent and continue to exist regardless of what happens to their original source. Any creature who can adopt the proper method or, figuratively speaking, knows the numbers of the combination lock, can access the secret treasure and use the information to make giants steps in evolution. These ideas can be carried further to consider what happens when many people have a similar thought. The information stored in the morphogenetic field should then be stronger and accessible over more channels. In that case one would expect it to be easier for new people to also “have” that thought or skill, insight or whatever. One aspect of this would be the creation of what Carl Jung called ‘’the collective unconscious’’.
This is not a new idea though; Doctor Rubert Sheldrake propagated this theory a few decades ago in scientific forums. The rishis called this “cosmic Mind” the Akashic record. This concept implies that like energy, thought can be neither created nor destroyed. Every thought ever “thunk” will reverberate internally in the akash, and every mind which can attune itself correctly can thus access it. Just as a properly tuned radio set can access various radio waves and turn them into sound, intelligible to the human ear, information embedded “thought forms” in the akash can be downloaded by those who understand the mechanism. Thus it is said “great minds think alike”. Of course they will, they are on the same wave length. Rishis through meditation enter this akashic record. Various mantras that were discovered were later revealed to mankind. It is said the rishis saw the mantra and then taught it to their disciples. It is also well known that “breakthroughs” in scientific concepts often occur simultaneously in places far distant from each other. Thus it stands to reason that when any individual manages to access an idea or concept or invention, that “a way is found”, a path “that many may transverse in her/his wake”. The innovation enters the field of “human heritage” and becomes part and parcel of the collective consciousness and then manifests in the cultural, social life.''
(Yogamani Kalaimamani Yogacharini MEENAKSHI DEVI BHAVANANI)
Every teacher has carved a path within the cosmic library. They have their own morphogenetic field, their own akashic records! This path contains practices, theories in a specific order and perhaps even a specific atmosphere, time and rhythm. They are tested ritualistic actions, which have already produced results for many devotees, and thus these ritualistic actions are charged with power. Regularity/repetition and rhythm allows us to tune ourselves to these cosmic records. This constant repetition however, cannot yield maximum results without our simultaneous awareness of the spiritual chain (paramparai) which leads to these cosmic records. In other words, the devotion to the teacher who showed us this path. The teacher is the path and our dedication is the map to this path and to our ultimate goal. Dedication to the teacher is the awareness of the road itself. Dedication to the teacher is the act of walking this road. Without dedication, the road is long and complex (complex due to the side effects created by the Ego)
The bad news: Real teachers are few. The Good news: Real teachers ensure that their chain grows, so that you can find their representatives everywhere!
The only thing that remains is to fight the fear of commitment, and to rid ourselves of the relentless illusion that personal development occurs miraculously and instantaneously, like a kind of epiphany of the Holy Ghost, without effort, regularity, dedication and gratitude.